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Among those in this growing field are Dating.fm, Flikdate, Video Date and two newbies launched last fall -- View N Me and Instamour.
Those behind the idea say it's a time and money saver, because daters can connect from wherever they are, avoiding travel time to meet someone and keeping cash in their pockets."Skype started the whole genre change and Face Time took it into mobile," says Marc Lesnick, founder of i Date, a dating industry conference and trade show.
"It's an important first step, but it's not a date.
With the camera turned on you will have an advantage, which allows other people to see you and find you have more friends.
"Face Time already proves that the model works."Instamour founder Jason Sherman of Philadelphia says competition is increasing because "people are into the real-time aspect of face-to-face meeting on an app before spending the time and money and commitment to meet in person.""Got a minute? Real-time video dating from your phone," touts Flikdate's website.
But some argue users won't flock to the video chat because their all-important first impression could be marred by bad lighting or poor camera angles that create an unflattering image.
Once you've gotten to know someone, you can video chat from within the app."But is it a real date?
Even those in the business don't agree."Nowadays, people think first dates are text messages," Cafferata says.